|Mutual understanding. That’s the result of effective communication.
Listening is an extremely important selling skill. I still wince when someone says “he’s got the gift of the gab, he can sell anything” because I’m a believer in the ‘One mouth, Two ears’ practice when it comes to selling i.e. less talking, more listening.
Listening attentively shows respect. It builds rapport. It makes the person really open up. Isn’t that what we sales professionals want our clients to do as early up in the sales cycle as possible? Sharing their REAL needs and drivers is what we want in order to determine whether or not we are a good fit in terms of providing our service or product.
Asking the right questions is of course, paramount. However sometimes prospects do open up of their own accord and let you know exactly what their problems are. This enables you to get to the bottom of their needs and requirements instead of just scratching the surface. That is, If you can hold back on butting in excitedly in order to try to sell them on a solution immediately.
Sometimes in our attempts to show a prospect that we really “get” them, we end up cutting them short in their explanation of the real situation. Let them talk.
Encourage them to open up even further. Challenge them to look at something from a different perspective. Make sure you re-state the facts and what you’ve picked up about their perspective so that you can check your understanding. Then, summarise what you have learned and use this as the basis for building your proposal or walking away i.e. making a “go” or “no-go” decision.
Cheers for sales ears!